The Liberation of Barton - A Poetry Evening at The Ropewalk, Barton on Humber - Saturday 8th October 2011
By Melanie Fullard
The Ropewalk in Barton is a listed building which was once used in the manufacturing of rope. It now doubles as an art space and performance venue. It's really awkward to find, sandwiched between Tesco and a housing estate (especially in the dark!) but it's well worth the trouble.
Tonight sees performances from the pick of Hull's finest poets and the debut of Barton's very own Lady Blah Blah
(aka Ruth Dixon). The evening begins with an enthusiastic round of pea-shaking (an old Barton tradition, surely!) as Mike Watts and Joe Hakim take the stage to kick-start the proceedings.
First up is Ashley Fisher who tells us of dead crabs and bodies in bedsits. He ends with Messiah Airways:
Welcome aboard flight 666...I wish I could print the poem in its entirety, it's that good
(read it here
Next comes Catherine Scott. Her poems which include an interview with Mr Bare Face
Cheek and his arsehole son are delivered in her no-nonsense style covering such topics as plastic boobs and
ABH on a chicken, as in Cock-a-fucking doodle-doo.
You certainly wouldn't mess with this bird.
After Catherine it's Jim Higo's turn to take the stage. Childless Jim reassures us he hasn't reproduced. Although he is in a relationship, he did think about shagging a couple of rough birds, e.g. Myra Hindley, Rose West, but even he draws the line at Margaret Thatcher!
Now for the culture, it's the turn of the Suburban Guerrilla, Pam Scobie. Slightly more jovial with her Child Killer and Burns Night victim poems.
She has the perfect voice for Woman's Hour but could just as easily do Tales from the Crypt, such is her ability to subtly shift from light to dark.
Act 2: Cue the pea-shaking, in comes Mike Watts; co-founder of Write to Speak along with Joe Hakim, these two have nurtured this fine band of writers who have become regular performers on the city's poetry circuit championed by the tireless Cilla Wykes and ThisisUll.
Mike moans about nurses taking the piss, and how he misses the legendary Rocky the Rat;We named him Rocky cos it fit, hard as nails,
thick as shit.'
He also needs wanking and spanking if there are any takers?
Enter Joe Hakim, (the other co-founder as previously mentioned) who tells us about Crystal; Her brain receives emails
from the lost planet doom. Joe warns of the pitfalls of mobile phones and Special Brew Blues;Which is only about £1.60
a tin, a bargain by any fucker's reckoning.
He goes on to thank the irritating twat that talked his way through most of the acts before introducing the star of the night - Lady Blah Blah.
Long glittery leggings, leopard skin jacket and the wildest red hair this side of the Humber. She's vexed.
Poems about the school run, wiping bogies from kids noses and the mum's mantra, School Hours Breakdown.
When she feels better she's going to liberate her vagina but not in a tent!
Laments about her mingy muff and how Camping and Vaginas don't mix.
The audience participation has us all howling with laughter, she's on the keyboard looking like Victoria Wood on acid.
But punter beware, Blah Blah wants to shag your husband, just the once though. And tonight, judging by the reaction from this lot, there will be plenty of takers.
Hats off to all the performers and also to Write to Speak for seeking out new life and new civilizations, and for boldly going where no poet has gone before!
Reviews, Theatre Stags and Hens at Fruit - Tuesday 26th July 2011 By Melanie Fullard Photos by Neil Holmes
Have you been to the 3D cinema recently?
The characters are larger than life, there's surround sound and you become so engrossed that you feel like you're in the film. Well, that's what it's like watching Stags and Hens.
The audience is gathered - standing room only. A bloke walks down the middle aisle; he's swaying a bit and looks a bit pissed.
Reviews, Books - Stories From Potters Field by Andy Wilson and Joe Solo Reviewed by Tim Roux
Joe Solo is a prolifically and prodigiously talented Northern England singer-songwriter who since the turn of the millennium has produced a steady flow of stand-out albums.
The trouble with ol' Joe is that he is a dyed-in-the-wool uncompromising old-fashioned Socialist who refuses to 'tart' up his songs with ear-candy arrangements, so some day someone will make an absolute fortune
Reviews, Theatre Sunday 13th February Scratch Theatre @ Fruit By Michelle Dee
I was just one of the many people on Humber Street Sunday 13th February to witness the first Scratch Theatre night at Fruit. Eight separate ten minute shorts were showcased tonight, each one a new piece of theatre written by a local writer.
Feedback sheets were handed out to answer the questions; what in your opinion worked / didn't work; what did/didn't you enjoy; how could it have been played better etc?
Reviews, Books - Coming to a Street Near You by Mike Watts (Night Press)
Reviewed by Peter Knaggs
At 116 pages, 62 poems, here we have it, the hot debut from one half of the Write to Speak
duo, Coming to a Street Near You.
There are a clutch of writers at the moment; Martin Hayes, Dan Fante
and Tony O'Neill and they write poems, good poems, you don't see them rubbing shoulders with
Don Patterson and Jo Shapcott and it's unlikely that you would happen upon their work in Poetry Review. Read more...
Reviews, Books - Coming to a Street Near You by Mike Watts Reviewed by Melanie Fullard
Mike Watts is a guy who's glass is always half empty. Not only that, it was his last fucking one and it's nine days till pay day.
The poems in his debut poetry collection, Coming to a Street Near You reflect the kitchen sink dramas of the '60's like Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and Billy Liar, Watts himself being a modern day Arthur Seaton.
Reviews, Theatre Write to Speak Presents Kate Fox News - Wednesday 12th January 2011 By Michelle Dee
The final Write to Speak of the current run saw writer/poet Kate Fox performing her Edinburgh Fringe Show Kate Fox News at the Hull Truck Studio Theatre. Tonight was ladies night so before Kate took to the stage the healthy Wednesday night crowd were given another chance to hear from the female members of the workshop poets.
Reviews, Arts - Write to Speak presents Kate Fox News at Hull Truck - Wednesday 12th January 2011 By Mark Walmsley
The last Write to Speakevent of the third season was crowned by a brilliant night's entertainment featuring BBC Radio 4's Kate Fox and 4 of Hulls very own up and coming poets, Catherine Scott, Kerry-Joe Pulford, Michaela Bamber and Pam Scobie .
Normally, it could be said that the likes of the very talented Kate Fox who has graced the Hull Truck
Reviews, Books - Coming to a Street Near You by Mike Watts Reviewed by Michelle Dee
Getting published in a real book with numbered pages and your name on the cover is a milestone in every writer's career. Mike Watts of Write to Speak fame has had his first anthology published by Night Publishing called Coming to a Street Near You.
The collection of poems has proved popular with demands from local bookstores, online and at shows.
Reviews, Theatre Write to Speak at Hull Truck - Ten by Ten - Wednesday 24th November 2010 By Michelle Dee. Photographs courtesy Cilla Wykes
The second Write to Speak Larkin25 on 22nd November was another success. The small team that organize these nights prove yet again that you don't need committees, event management and marketing teams to get things done.
This evening, 24th November, Write to Speak invited a poetry collective from the North East to Hull to perform alongside their own workshop poets. The visitors perform under the name 10 x 10Read more...
Reviews, Theatre Larkin25 - Write to Speak presents: They f*** you up... at Hull Truck - Monday 22nd November 2010 By Michelle Dee. Photographs courtesy Cilla Wykes
In this current climate of Arts funding cuts and uncertain futures the only thing to do is go out there and make things happen. Tonight's Write To Speak performances were the result of such an approach.
All the writers tonight have taken advantage of the poetry writing and performance workshops hosted by Joe Hakim and Mike Watts from Write To Speak in conjunction with thisisUll.comRead more...
Reviews, Theatre Tango Passion at New Theatre, Hull - Friday 29th October 2010 By Melanie Fullard
This show has played to standing ovations on world famous stages in places like Berlin, Paris, Moscow, Rome, Broadway. How the hell did they manage to land here - wrong turn?
Well, whatever happened, we are so glad they came. For one night only, Hull became a hotbed of lust in a small theatre, not far from British Home Stores.
A cast of 30 dancers and musicians